Earlier this week McAllister Garfield, P.C. filed a Petition for Reconsideration on behalf of CWB Holdings, Inc. with the DEA requesting that the agency amend, repeal, or renotice for public commenting its Establishment of New Drug Code for Marihuana Extract (“Extract Rule”). Promulgated on December 14, 2016, DEA’s reasoning for the rule was to “creat[e] a new Administration Controlled Substances Code Number for ‘‘Marihuana Extract.” However, the Extract Rule functions as a scheduling of all cannabinoids, including all non-psychoactive cannabinoids contained in cannabis, as Schedule I controlled substances, without following appropriate scheduling procedures.
Schedule I controlled substances lack currently accepted medical use in treatment, and the Extract Rule disregards important scientific research into the efficacy of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, such as CBD, in treating and/or managing health issues. Even federal agencies such as DEA and FDA recognize current medical and therapeutic uses for non-psychoactive cannabinoids contained in hemp extract. Furthermore, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services holds a patent for cannabinoids based on their efficacy as neuroprotectants and antioxidants. The Extract Rule effectively schedules all cannabinoids contained in hemp extract while disregarding the proliferation of scientific studies into the medical qualities and efficacy of non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
The Petition for Reconsideration argues that not only does DEA’s Extract Rule conflict with federal law, including the Controlled Substances Act, the 2014 Farm Bill, and judicial precedent, but in scheduling “marihuana extract,” DEA exceeded its authority under the U.S. Constitution. In submitting the Petition for Reconsideration, Petitioners ask DEA to amend its definition of “marihuana extract” to conform to the definitions of “marihuana” in the Controlled Substances Act, and “industrial hemp” in the 2014 Farm Bill. In so doing, DEA would regulate industrial hemp and hemp products, including CBD, by THC concentration as mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill. The filing of the Petition is not only necessary to provide clarity to those businesses operating in the hemp extract and CBD space, but it is also necessary to remove the legal uncertainty surrounding use of these products in the treatment of medical conditions, such as intractable epilepsy.
If you would like to stand up for the hemp industry and families in need of hemp extract, you can participate in this process by sending a letter to DEA requesting that the agency honor the petition.
Mail letters to:
DEA Diversion Control Division
Attn: Liaison and Policy Section
8701 Morrissette Drive
Springfield, VA 22152
It is imperative that DEA renotice the Extract Rule and reopen it for more rigorous public commenting that takes into account the changes in law and circumstance. If you would like more information on participating in the current action, or any future action, do not hesitate to contact the Firm.
Garrett L. Davey, Esq.